How Much Does Ipe Wood Decking Cost?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated January 24, 2022
Hardwood deck with chairs and bright patio finishes
forrest9/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Typical Ipe decking prices vary between $3,500 and $9,800 for a 10-by-15-foot deck

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

When building your dream outdoor space, you want a deck that will stand the test of time, while also creating a comfortable place to host special events like outdoor family dinners. That’s why so many people have fallen in love with durable, yet plush, Ipe wood decking. 

The national average cost for an Ipe deck measuring 10 by 15 feet is $4,700. The materials are $5 to $20 per square foot, and the labor costs $20 to $45 per square foot. However, many factors come into play when determining actual Ipe decking prices for your needs.

How Much Does Ipe Decking Cost Per Square Foot?

Ipe decking is wonderfully warm, as it holds some heat from the sun, and is also soft on your bare feet. People love it for its low upkeep, long lifespan, durability, and beauty. 

That being said, Ipe wood prices are higher than many other types of decking, with a cost range of $25 to $65 per square foot, installed. That's mostly due to the labor costs of $20 to $45 per square foot. Ipe is incredibly hard, time-consuming to work with, and needs specialist equipment to install. Ipe decking costs $5 to $20 per square foot by itself.

How Does Ipe Decking Cost to Install Yourself?

Even if you’ve worked on a deck project before, you may want to think twice before taking this on as a DIY project. Installing Ipe decking isn't as easy as working with other woods. Ipe is hard, dense, and heavy, and it requires specialist drill bits and saw blades. Plus, you may have to excavate and level the area where you’ll put the deck, and then potentially pour a concrete foundation.

So, even though you could save yourself up to $45 per square foot in labor costs, it's probably worth letting a local deck builder install your deck while you relax, enjoy the sunny weather, and start planning the barbecues you’ll be having in your new outdoor space. 

Ipe Decking Cost Breakdown

There's more to installing Ipe decking than just laying the boards. See where your money will go for an Ipe decking project:

Ipe Decking Foundation Installation Cost

Your deck will need a foundation of some kind, unless one already exists. Expect to pay $4 to $9 per square foot of surface area. The price of the foundation depends on whether it just involves pouring concrete or if it also needs a wooden substructure.

Ipe Decking Board Installation Cost

The cost to install the decking boards themselves is $20 to $35 per square foot, including labor and materials. Because of the strength and density of the wood, heavy-duty titanium drill bits and powerful drills are necessary to drill into Ipe.

Ipe Decking Extras Cost

Aside from the decking itself, some extras are also necessary to complete your deck but are not usually included in the average Ipe decking cost:

Ipe Decking Labor Cost

The total labor cost for installing an Ipe deck, including laying the foundation and fitting the boards, is $20 to $45 per square foot. While you may pay less in labor for a pressure-treated pine deck or other, softer wood, Ipe requires less maintenance and has a considerably longer lifespan. Therefore, it adds more value to your home and likely saves you money in the long run.

FAQs About Ipe Decking

What is Ipe wood?

Ipe is a hardwood from Central and South America, also known as Brazilian Walnut and pau lope. It's one of the hardest woods, measuring 3,600 on the Janka hardness scale. In comparison, red oak only measures 1,290. 

Its beauty, longevity, and resistance to fungus, insects, and rot make it highly sought after. But this has also led to widespread deforestation and illegal harvesting, so if you must use Ipe, make sure your timber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance for sustainability. You could also consider a fast-growing, sustainable alternative that isn't endangered, such as black locust.

Can I use Brazilian hardwood for a fence?

Yes, Brazilian hardwoods like Ipe are suitable for fencing. Although they're more costly than domestic woods, they're usually more durable and resistant to insects, mildew, and rot. Ipe is so dense that it's as fire-resistant as concrete or steel.

Does Ipe wood last a long time?

Yes, Ipe has a long lifespan. It can last up to 75 years with minimal maintenance as its own oils help to preserve it.

Can I use Ipe wood as pool decking?

Yes, Ipe is a popular high-end choice for pool decking. It repels water and is naturally slip-resistant. It's not susceptible to mold, mildew, or rot either, so it lasts longer and is cleaner and more hygienic than other popular decking materials.

Do I need to stain Ipe decking?

No, you don't need to stain Ipe decking, although you can if you want to change the color. You will, however, need to apply a UV coating if you don't want the natural color to fade. Speak to a deck staining specialist near you to discuss the best options if you think you want to stain your decking.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.